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Historic Jim Thorpe

29 Packer Hill Ave, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229, USA
$269,000

Description

Welcome to Jim Thorpe, PENNSYLVANIA!

It has been voted one of the best small towns in the US!  And we are only about an hour and a half from Philadelphia and about two and half hours drive time from New York City.  Often referred to as the gateway to the Pocono Mountains, its picturesque beauty brings people from near and far to visit. Tourists enjoy a quaint Victorian era town, nestled in the gorgeous mountains and is filled with so much history and outdoor recreation, shopping, dining and more! At the center is the Asa and Harry Packer mansions, father and son homes built on the hill (now known as Packer Hill in their honor) overlooking the train station and Lehigh River, where they made their fortunes in the coal industry.

Third in line as you come up the hill and right next to Harry’s home, at 29 Packer Hill, still stands the James Exel house. James was born in Austria in 1854, raised in Paris and then, by the early 1880’s, was in London working. He was employed by a fine restaurant called the Thrale Hall in Mitcham Road, Streatham as a chef/cook, which is where Harry Packer was dining one evening while he was touring Europe. Harry so enjoyed his dinner that evening that he asked to the maitre’d if he could meet the chef. And thus began a life-long relationship to the Packer family. The Packer Family hired him and in 1883, he immigrated to the US, sailing upon the steamship “City of Rome” and settled into then, the small town of “Mauch Chunk”, PA.  Harry sold him the property right next door to his home for about $2500 and there he lived with his family.

Being next door, he was readily available as the family’s full time chef/cook and butler and he knew EVERYTHING there was to know about cooking, which is why Harry hired him! He prepared many wonderful dishes for both the family and the many guests of the households. He also could play a musical instrument called a Zither, a stringed instrument that he may have learned in his native Vienna, Austria, where it is thought to have been popular.  He entertained not only the Packer Family and their guests, but appeared at community gatherings and at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, as well to his own family and friends, picnicking along the very nearby Switchback Railway line (which was created to carry coal from the mines in the nearby Panther Valley area to the barges on the Lehigh River to Philadelphia), that ran behind his home. People so loved his playing, he was often asked to teach others how to play! His original Zither and other memorabilia about him and his family can be found at our nearby Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center on downtown Broadway! There is also a photo of his daughter, Celia Exel Bellhorn hanging up the left side of the stairs at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, where she also often performed! Check out the website below for more info and photos!

https://culturedcarboncounty.blogspot.com/2010/07/lady-and-butlerinterwined-timeline-and.html

The history behind this home/owner and it’s close proximity to the Packer mansions, makes it a VERY unique and an interesting part of Mauch Chunk/Jim Thorpe’s history! Built in 1890, it is one of the 5 original homes still existing on Packer Hill today. These homes were built originally on this hill, in part, to the views these homes have! Though the canal is gone, beautiful Kemmerer Park sits just below and the Lehigh River flows through the town.  All seasons are beautiful here, but Autumn is just gorgeous with the changing leaves around the property and the surrounding mountains.  And the beautifully restored downtown is within walking distance offering a plethora of things to see and do, including St. Mark’s Episcopal church, which the Packer’s also built and the Old Jail, where the Molly McGuires were hung, and the old train station, where the trains still run, to name a few.  You will love the step back in time in the downtown!

The home itself has original clapboard siding. It also has a newer roof, windows, furnace and gas hot water heater. It has an updated kitchen, open staircase, and some hardwood floors. There are 3 beds and a full bath and the lower level could be an additional bedroom or office (it has it’s own entrance) and has a gas fireplace. It also has a ¾ bath and utility area and an attic that could be for storage or made into additional living space. The outside has a private patio area off the dining room to enjoy the mature trees and mountain view! Behind the property, the Switchback Railroad ran and now can be walked as it is a wooded trail! This home sits grandly on the hill and matched with the right new owner, it truly has the potential to really become one of the many stately homes found all around Jim Thorpe that were built at the turn of the century and are a big part of the history of this beautiful small town in America!

Detail

  • Property ID
    248120
  • 4
    Bedrooms
  • 1.1
    Bathrooms
  • Square Footage
    1125 sqft
  • Lot Size
    0.25 acres
  • Icon
    Year Built
    1890

Updated on September 11, 2020 at 6:34 pm

Address

  • Address: 29 Packer Hill Ave, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229, USA
  • City: Jim Thorpe
  • State/county: Pennsylvania
  • Zip/Postal Code: 18229
  • Country: United States

Contact Agent

Bonnie Hoffman
View listings

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